One thing about San Diego Unified Trustee Scott Barnett is certain: He’s not afraid to go rogue.
The budget wonk turned school board maverick has a distinctive voice and a talent for turning a phrase. In fact, he’s fired off so many colorful quotes that VOSD has dedicated an entire post to Barnett-isms.
Barnett said he and his colleagues unanimously agree 95 percent of the time, especially when it comes to the big stuff. When they wrangled Cindy Marten to serve as superintendent — which Barnett said has been the most significant decision they’ve made — they all agreed she was the right person for the job.
But it’s also clear that Barnett at times sees himself as the only one in touch with reality, especially when it comes to finances.
Since he was elected in 2010, it’s been Barnett’s primary goal to leave the district in better financial shape than he found it, he said.
His signature rallying cry has been to rethink the district’s approach to land sales, which he’s likened to selling grandma’s jewelry to pay rent, burning furniture to heat the house and “taking (a) prized milk cow and slaughtering it for beef.”
Barnet thinks San Diego Unified made its biggest mistake when it voted to sell off the Mission Beach Center for $18.5 million. To make matters worse, he said, it sold the property to a group planning to build condominiums, which the neighborhood had opposed.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Scott Barnett has been a consistent voice of reason. I'm thankful for his thoughtful discussions and many attempts to point out the more student-centric path to the board. Now, if the 250,000+ parents would only chime in and weigh in at these board meetings and at
the ballot box, maybe we could finally get somewhere in this school district.
Sure, going rogue does draw attention and Mr. Barnett has made some good arguments - specifically land sales and board transparency. However, this board as a whole is a joke and has done little more than rehash the same rhetoric regarding 2020 visions. Declining enrollments, ridiculous technology investments, and contract negotiations should be interesting topics to deal with. Good luck kids!
When people ask why our children are getting treated like second class citizens and why are the adults and unions running our children's education system like a union hiring hall, lets ask Scott Barnett why....he knows the answer as the lone voice of reason. Any union supported School board member or candidate should be told the union is the kiss of death and the taxpayers and parents should vote any union supported candidate out of office. We cannot continue to allow our children to be treated to union hall politics and a dysfunctional school board mired in its own political agenda. Parents...we have had enough!!
"The only time I get irritated is when my colleagues use kids as guinea pigs to promote a public agenda"That means he's irritated all of the time. The entire purpose of education sector unions is to use kids as pawns in a political game that easily sways low information, emotion-driven voters.